Creation of an iPhone Game

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Owen Goss - Creation of an iPhone Game. 360|iDev San Jose 09

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Creation of an iPhone Game

  1. 1. Creation of an iPhone Game Process and Lessons Owen Goss ©2009 Streaming Colour Studios Tuesday, March 3, 2009
  2. 2. What’s this all about? • Dapple • Processes • Lessons Learned ©2009 Streaming Colour Studios Tuesday, March 3, 2009
  3. 3. Who is this guy? • Owen Goss • Streaming Colour Studios • 5 years in Games Industry • EA Canada • Propaganda Games (Disney) ©2009 Streaming Colour Studios Tuesday, March 3, 2009
  4. 4. Development Stages • Pre-Production • Production • Post-Production • Distribution, Marketing & Sales ©2009 Streaming Colour Studios Tuesday, March 3, 2009
  5. 5. Pre-Production Prototyping, Planning, Scheduling ©2009 Streaming Colour Studios Tuesday, March 3, 2009
  6. 6. What is Pre-Pro? Breakfast: the most important meal of the day Pre-Pro: the most important stage of game development ©2009 Streaming Colour Studios Tuesday, March 3, 2009
  7. 7. Define Your Goals The Game Business Goals Time Scope Polish ©2009 Streaming Colour Studios Tuesday, March 3, 2009
  8. 8. Realistic Expectations Xbox 360/PS3 Game ~350,000 person hrs Your iPhone Game ~2,000 person hrs ©2009 Streaming Colour Studios Tuesday, March 3, 2009
  9. 9. Which is more “valuable” right now? ©2009 Streaming Colour Studios Tuesday, March 3, 2009
  10. 10. Design Document (4-5 days) ©2009 Streaming Colour Studios Tuesday, March 3, 2009
  11. 11. Working Prototype (4-5 days) ©2009 Streaming Colour Studios Tuesday, March 3, 2009
  12. 12. But, what if... ©2009 Streaming Colour Studios Tuesday, March 3, 2009
  13. 13. The prototype isn’t fun! ©2009 Streaming Colour Studios Tuesday, March 3, 2009
  14. 14. Prototyping • Fast • Any platform • Physical prototypes • Quick and dirty! ©2009 Streaming Colour Studios Tuesday, March 3, 2009
  15. 15. Prototyping: Lessons Learned • Prototyping is invaluable! • Have as many people as possible play the prototypes; don’t just rely on your own feelings about the game • Get honest feedback, early • When players get confused, find out why ©2009 Streaming Colour Studios Tuesday, March 3, 2009
  16. 16. Dapple - 1st Prototype ©2009 Streaming Colour Studios Tuesday, March 3, 2009
  17. 17. Dapple - 4th Prototype ©2009 Streaming Colour Studios Tuesday, March 3, 2009
  18. 18. ©2009 Streaming Colour Studios Tuesday, March 3, 2009
  19. 19. iPhone Prototype • Port to iPhone • Fast and dirty • Track your time! ©2009 Streaming Colour Studios Tuesday, March 3, 2009
  20. 20. Design Doc • Optional • Contractors? • Cement Ideas ©2009 Streaming Colour Studios Tuesday, March 3, 2009
  21. 21. Technology Choices • iPhone OS version • Audio • Rendering • UI • 3rd party engine (see Appendix) ©2009 Streaming Colour Studios Tuesday, March 3, 2009
  22. 22. Scheduling • • Estimates Animation system? • UI framework? • Features • UI widgets? • Sub-Tasks • Rendering API? • • Infrastructure Sound API? • Handling Audio Sessions? • Handling low mem warnings? • Handling device locking? • Saving game state? • Custom debugging functions (e.g. custom asserts, logging functions, etc)? ©2009 Streaming Colour Studios Tuesday, March 3, 2009
  23. 23. Scheduling cont • Bug fixing time • Ship date • Enough time? • Reduce Scope ©2009 Streaming Colour Studios Tuesday, March 3, 2009
  24. 24. Scheduling cont • 3rd-party code solutions • Project management tools • PM software needed? ©2009 Streaming Colour Studios Tuesday, March 3, 2009
  25. 25. Pre-Pro Lessons Learned • Get the most out of pre-production when iteration is cheap! • Reduce scope at this stage, before you waste time and money! ©2009 Streaming Colour Studios Tuesday, March 3, 2009
  26. 26. Production Let’s Build a Game! ©2009 Streaming Colour Studios Tuesday, March 3, 2009
  27. 27. What is Production? Building the game you planned out in Pre-Production. ©2009 Streaming Colour Studios Tuesday, March 3, 2009
  28. 28. Steps for Dapple’s Production ©2009 Streaming Colour Studios Tuesday, March 3, 2009
  29. 29. CrashLanding • OpenGL • No longer available! ©2009 Streaming Colour Studios Tuesday, March 3, 2009
  30. 30. Toss the Prototype ©2009 Streaming Colour Studios Tuesday, March 3, 2009
  31. 31. Developer Application Lesson Learned: Should have done this much earlier! 6 weeks to be approved! ©2009 Streaming Colour Studios Tuesday, March 3, 2009
  32. 32. Hiring Contractors • 2D artist • IndieGamer forums • Music composer • Friends • Sound designer • Other devs ©2009 Streaming Colour Studios Tuesday, March 3, 2009
  33. 33. Hiring cont • Considerations • Put it in writing • Lesson Learned: Know what you’re good at. Find professionals to do the rest, if you can afford it ©2009 Streaming Colour Studios Tuesday, March 3, 2009
  34. 34. Contractors • Design doc • UI wireframes • Concept • Iteration • Final Assets ©2009 Streaming Colour Studios Tuesday, March 3, 2009
  35. 35. Meanwhile... • Recruit volunteers • Early feedback • Weekly builds ©2009 Streaming Colour Studios Tuesday, March 3, 2009
  36. 36. Game Modes • Classic • Timed • Puzzle • 2 Player • Build Classic to shippable state ©2009 Streaming Colour Studios Tuesday, March 3, 2009
  37. 37. Systems Animation System ©2009 Streaming Colour Studios Tuesday, March 3, 2009
  38. 38. Systems cont Loading System ©2009 Streaming Colour Studios Tuesday, March 3, 2009
  39. 39. Systems cont Custom OpenGL UI Framework ©2009 Streaming Colour Studios Tuesday, March 3, 2009
  40. 40. Systems cont Save Game System Lesson Learned: Saving state means the user feels like the game belongs to them ©2009 Streaming Colour Studios Tuesday, March 3, 2009
  41. 41. Systems cont SoundEngine My fixes are on Dev Forums as OTrain13 ©2009 Streaming Colour Studios Tuesday, March 3, 2009
  42. 42. Systems cont Audio Session System Lesson Learned: This was one of the trickiest parts of developing on iPhone. Should have tackled this much earlier in development! ©2009 Streaming Colour Studios Tuesday, March 3, 2009
  43. 43. Systems cont Rendering System ©2009 Streaming Colour Studios Tuesday, March 3, 2009
  44. 44. Fonts Lesson Learned: Make sure you have the font licensing rights! ©2009 Streaming Colour Studios Tuesday, March 3, 2009
  45. 45. Colorblind Mode Tritanope Normal Deuteranope Protanope (rare) ©2009 Streaming Colour Studios Tuesday, March 3, 2009
  46. 46. iTunes Contracts Lesson Learned: Should have handled this much earlier in Production - this nearly caused my release date to slip ©2009 Streaming Colour Studios Tuesday, March 3, 2009
  47. 47. Additional Game Modes • Lessons Learned: • Single Player is a special case of 2 Player Mode! • Smart API design • Extra modes didn’t get as much testing ©2009 Streaming Colour Studios Tuesday, March 3, 2009
  48. 48. Pre-Release Promotion • One month prior to release • Simulator capture video • Press releases • Not much press ©2009 Streaming Colour Studios Tuesday, March 3, 2009
  49. 49. Throughout Production • Daily play-tests • Fix bugs • Weekly memory leak tests • Weekly performance tests ©2009 Streaming Colour Studios Tuesday, March 3, 2009
  50. 50. Production Lessons Learned • Test on device early • Have people play it early and often • Listen to feedback • Iteration is good ©2009 Streaming Colour Studios Tuesday, March 3, 2009
  51. 51. Lessons Learned cont • Always move forward • UI always takes longer than you think • Single player = special case of multiplayer • Ideas generate ideas ©2009 Streaming Colour Studios Tuesday, March 3, 2009
  52. 52. Post-Production Alpha, Dev Beta, Beta, Final (AKA “The Fun Part”) ©2009 Streaming Colour Studios Tuesday, March 3, 2009
  53. 53. What is Post-Production? • Bug fixing • Performance optimization • Memory optimization • Memory leak tracking and fixing • Testing ©2009 Streaming Colour Studios Tuesday, March 3, 2009
  54. 54. Post-Production The Goal Release a bug-free polished product! ©2009 Streaming Colour Studios Tuesday, March 3, 2009
  55. 55. Alpha • Feature-complete • Lots of bugs • Bug fixing • Recruit testers ©2009 Streaming Colour Studios Tuesday, March 3, 2009
  56. 56. Dev-Beta First zero-bug build ©2009 Streaming Colour Studios Tuesday, March 3, 2009
  57. 57. Beta X days - no must fix bugs found ©2009 Streaming Colour Studios Tuesday, March 3, 2009
  58. 58. Final Y days after Beta - no must-fix bugs found ©2009 Streaming Colour Studios Tuesday, March 3, 2009
  59. 59. Submission Upload to the App Store. Have a drink! ©2009 Streaming Colour Studios Tuesday, March 3, 2009
  60. 60. ©2009 Streaming Colour Studios Tuesday, March 3, 2009
  61. 61. Post-Production Lessons Learned • Build number • Symbol files • Crash logs • Follow Apple docs, not website ©2009 Streaming Colour Studios Tuesday, March 3, 2009
  62. 62. Dapple - 1st Prototype ©2009 Streaming Colour Studios Tuesday, March 3, 2009
  63. 63. Dapple - 4th Prototype ©2009 Streaming Colour Studios Tuesday, March 3, 2009
  64. 64. Dapple - 1st iPhone Prototype ©2009 Streaming Colour Studios Tuesday, March 3, 2009
  65. 65. Dapple - Final Product ©2009 Streaming Colour Studios Tuesday, March 3, 2009
  66. 66. Conclusions • Dapple: Unique Textures: 172 Unique Sounds: 19 Music Tracks: 5 Game Modes: 3 Unique FE Screens: 25 Code Classes: 67 ©2009 Streaming Colour Studios Tuesday, March 3, 2009
  67. 67. Conclusions Total Dev Time: 6 months Total Dev Budget: ~$32,000 USD Price: $4.99 USD ©2009 Streaming Colour Studios Tuesday, March 3, 2009
  68. 68. What Questions do you have? ©2009 Streaming Colour Studios Tuesday, March 3, 2009
  69. 69. Appendix ©2009 Streaming Colour Studios Tuesday, March 3, 2009
  70. 70. iPhone Game Engines: • Unity - http://unity3d.com/unity/features/iphone-publishing • Torque Game Builder (TGB) - http://www.garagegames.com/ products/torque-2D • Oolong - http://oolongengine.com/ IndieGamer Forums: • Indie Gamer - http://forums.indiegamer.com Font Resources: • DaFont - http://www.dafont.com/ • Many free for commercial use, or cheap commercial use licenses. Pay attention to the licensing details! Colorblind Resources: • Vischeck - http://www.vischeck.com/vischeck/ • Upload images and see how they look with 3 different kinds of colorblindness • Color Vision Test - http://www.opticien-lentilles.com/daltonien_beta/ new_test_daltonien.php • Answer this questionnaire to determine your exact type of colorblindness (or determine if you’re not at all) ©2009 Streaming Colour Studios Tuesday, March 3, 2009
  71. 71. Texture Pre-Multiplication on iPhone: • Forum discussion - http://www.idevgames.com/forum/ showthread.php?t=15780 Screen Capture Tools: • Snapz Pro X - http://www.ambrosiasw.com/utilities/snapzprox/ • Great tool for doing static screenshots or full-motion video captures • iShowU - http://www.shinywhitebox.com/ • Full-motion video captures - I haven’t used it personally, but I’ve heard good things Applying for Paid App Contract Outside the U.S.: • My blog posts on the subject: • Preparation - http://www.streamingcolour.com/blog/2009/01/12/ preparation/ • Follow Up - http://www.streamingcolour.com/blog/2009/01/12/ follow-up/ • Ongoing Paperwork - http://www.streamingcolour.com/blog/ 2009/01/12/ongoing-paperwork/ • Note: The blog posts mention mailing to California - this was incorrect. The forms needed to be mailed to Texas. ©2009 Streaming Colour Studios Tuesday, March 3, 2009
  72. 72. Tracking Memory Leaks with Instruments: • Tutorial - http://www.streamingcolour.com/blog/tutorials/tracking- iphone-memory-leaks/ Recording an iPhone Gameplay Video: • Tutorial - http://www.streamingcolour.com/blog/tutorials/creating-an- iphone-game-video/ Crash Logs and Symbolicating: • iPhone Crash Logs - http://www.anoshkin.net/blog/2008/09/09/ iphone-crash-logs/ ©2009 Streaming Colour Studios Tuesday, March 3, 2009
  73. 73. Thank You! ©2009 Streaming Colour Studios Tuesday, March 3, 2009

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